The Entrepreneur Forum | Startups | Entrepreneurship | Starting a Business | Motivation | Success

Welcome to The Fastlane Entrepreneur Forum.

Register Log in
  • The forum software will be upgraded on Sunday May 26th and may not look normal during the transition. Some functionality may be offline. This is TEMPORARY and is expected to last up to 48 hours.

eCommerce through Personal Website Vs Amazon

NewManRising

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Oct 30, 2017
332
468
230
39
White City, OR
Hi Folks,

So I am getting ready to start moving the needle toward setting up an eCommerce business. I put some thought into it and I am leaning toward skipping Amazon (perhaps use it later on). The reason for this is control. But, there are some pros and cons to both using Amazon as a platform versus my own website. I will list them below and why I am leaning toward skipping Amazon.

Pros
1. Control - I am not vulnerable to Amazon's TOS and changes in their search algorithm.
2. Saving Money - I do not have to pay Amazon to store and ship my inventory.
3. Marketing - I have a little more freedom to market my product(s) on various channels, thus building traffic and a customer base.

Cons
1. Shipping - I would have to store and ship my own product(s). Which means, more work and involvement.
2. Traffic - I would not have the traffic Amazon has and would have to build it up myself. Which could take months to a year for something decent.
3. Trust - I think since Amazon is a very recognizeable brand people have more trust in buying something off their platform as opposed to some guy with a website and some social media accounts. But I could earn trust over time.


The other thing I have been pondering is instead of importing from China or another foreign country, I am thinking about sourcing and having my product(s) made in the USA. The reason for this is it can be a selling point for some people. Additionally, less wait times, higher quality product, and less risk of getting burned. Plus less shipping cost (maybe). Of course it will probably cost more but without having to pay monthly fees like I would on Amazon, I think it would all even out.


My plan would be to sell products off my own website and build up traffic. As I add more products I may decide to list some here and there on Amazon as a supplement to my business as opposed to building my entire business on Amazon. I don't mind doing all the shipping myself initially but would probably find a fulfillment company to do it later on.

I've noticed a few people here and elsewhere that have not depended on Amazon and have done quite well using their own website and marketing themselves rather than just building an Amazon business. This is what got me to rethink things.

Feedback/comments/suggestions/questions welcomed.

~ Dylan




 

biophase

Legendary Contributor
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
FASTLANE INSIDER
LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR
Summit Attendee
Jul 25, 2007
6,327
28,013
5,083
Scottsdale, AZ
Hi Folks,

So I am getting ready to start moving the needle toward setting up an eCommerce business. I put some thought into it and I am leaning toward skipping Amazon (perhaps use it later on). The reason for this is control. But, there are some pros and cons to both using Amazon as a platform versus my own website. I will list them below and why I am leaning toward skipping Amazon.

Pros
1. Control - I am not vulnerable to Amazon's TOS and changes in their search algorithm.
2. Saving Money - I do not have to pay Amazon to store and ship my inventory.
3. Marketing - I have a little more freedom to market my product(s) on various channels, thus building traffic and a customer base.

Cons
1. Shipping - I would have to store and ship my own product(s). Which means, more work and involvement.
2. Traffic - I would not have the traffic Amazon has and would have to build it up myself. Which could take months to a year for something decent.
3. Trust - I think since Amazon is a very recognizable brand people have more trust in buying something off their platform as opposed to some guy with a website and some social media accounts. But I could earn trust over time.

The other thing I have been pondering is instead of importing from China or another foreign country, I am thinking about sourcing and having my product(s) made in the USA. The reason for this is it can be a selling point for some people. Additionally, less wait times, higher quality product, and less risk of getting burned. Plus less shipping cost (maybe). Of course it will probably cost more but without having to pay monthly fees like I would on Amazon, I think it would all even out.

My plan would be to sell products off my own website and build up traffic. As I add more products I may decide to list some here and there on Amazon as a supplement to my business as opposed to building my entire business on Amazon. I don't mind doing all the shipping myself initially but would probably find a fulfillment company to do it later on.

I've noticed a few people here and elsewhere that have not depended on Amazon and have done quite well using their own website and marketing themselves rather than just building an Amazon business. This is what got me to rethink things.

Feedback/comments/suggestions/questions welcomed.

~ Dylan
It sounds like you have no idea what you are doing. Do you even have a product to sell yet?

The top of your list should be: What am I going to sell and why? Not where am I going to sell it.
 

Eskil

Legendary Contributor
Speedway Pass
FASTLANE INSIDER
LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR
Summit Attendee
Jul 18, 2012
1,821
7,442
2,066
Scottsdale, AZ
www.stayblcam.com
I second what biophase said - but assuming you do have a product in mind already - the product and its market will better determine the 'where' your sales channels should be. And for a lot of products you can definitely do both, although it's usually best to not have Amazon control the majority of your bottom line (lack of control commandment). Aim for being in control of the majority of traffic to your sales (off Amazon, own website with traffic you drive), with Amazon being a supplementary sales channel.
 

Walter Hay

Legendary Contributor
Speedway Pass
FASTLANE INSIDER
LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR
Sep 13, 2014
2,093
8,545
1,953
80
World citizen
www.provenchinasourcing.com
I believe that using both is a good idea. You don't have to use FBA, but can use FBM by whatever means suits you.

FBM can tie you up with details such as packaging, printing address labels, dispatching the packages etc. If that becomes a problem you can use a non-Amazon fulfillment service as you have already considered.

Apart from questions regarding the product, the big question in my mind is do you have the necessary skills to market via your own website?

Amazon have the distinct advantage of a huge traffic base, but that is not the end of the story. Your task is to direct your share of that traffic to your listing.

The one Amazon TOS I can help you with is the one preventing you from communicating direct with your customers. Oops, Amazon's customers.

I posted a little earlier today on the subject here: Question for experienced Amazon Sellers

There is also a thread largely dealing with Amazon and Control: Amazon Possibly Hacked

Walter
 

Sanj Modha

Gold Contributor
Speedway Pass
Feb 16, 2016
753
2,201
555
37
It's not the same thing:

1 - Amazon is a sales channel. You're not building anything except an income.
2 - Your personal website is YOURS. You build an asset and you have access to customer data.

If you want to sell on Amazon - do it under a pseudonym. Don't use your brand name.
 

Sanj Modha

Gold Contributor
Speedway Pass
Feb 16, 2016
753
2,201
555
37
I believe that using both is a good idea. You don't have to use FBA, but can use FBM by whatever means suits you.

FBM can tie you up with details such as packaging, printing address labels, dispatching the packages etc. If that becomes a problem you can use a non-Amazon fulfillment service as you have already considered.

Apart from questions regarding the product, the big question in my mind is do you have the necessary skills to market via your own website?

Amazon have the distinct advantage of a huge traffic base, but that is not the end of the story. Your task is to direct your share of that traffic to your listing.

The one Amazon TOS I can help you with is the one preventing you from communicating direct with your customers. Oops, Amazon's customers.

I posted a little earlier today on the subject here: Question for experienced Amazon Sellers

There is also a thread largely dealing with Amazon and Control: Amazon Possibly Hacked

Walter
My problem with FBM is there's no perks. The majority of Amazon users expect same day delivery now.

Has anyone tested FBM vs FBA?
 

LinorCG

Business Building Warrior
Speedway Pass
FASTLANE INSIDER
Feb 6, 2014
397
459
246
Australia
You can start with Amazon as your testing ground, to get your feet wet and get the experience of buying from retailers, wholesalers, etc...get to know the trend or even get ideas from products being sold. Then later on, open your own site.

EDIT: At least you can test same products as what you're thinking of selling without buying in bulk.
 

Walter Hay

Legendary Contributor
Speedway Pass
FASTLANE INSIDER
LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR
Sep 13, 2014
2,093
8,545
1,953
80
World citizen
www.provenchinasourcing.com
My problem with FBM is there's no perks. The majority of Amazon users expect same day delivery now.

Has anyone tested FBM vs FBA?
It's very true that we live in an instant gratification society that has become very impatient. FBA's rapid delivery would be hard to match by a small business.

I don't know of any tests having been done, but I do know that there are many businesses that run successfully with their own version of fulfillment by merchant.

Even today, if the value being offered is true value, people already attracted to the product would usually buy if delivery was not more than 2 or 3 days.

Margins need to be high enough to cover that 2 to 3 day delivery. In the early days of my importing business I managed to deliver even interstate within 2 or 3 days by getting a good deal with a local courier service.

The postal service is not a good option in most cases.

Walter
 

Ernman

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
FASTLANE INSIDER
Feb 8, 2019
263
470
225
59
Florida, USA
The other thing I have been pondering is instead of importing from China or another foreign country, I am thinking about sourcing and having my product(s) made in the USA. The reason for this is it can be a selling point for some people. Additionally, less wait times, higher quality product, and less risk of getting burned. Plus less shipping cost (maybe). Of course it will probably cost more but without having to pay monthly fees like I would on Amazon, I think it would all even out.
Several have commented on your sales channel questions, so I'll leave that alone. Your supply channel is also an important consideration that requires some homework. Offshore production works for products that can be manufactured to precise drawings, models, etc and in large enough quantities that the shipping charges can be spread. But you lose some control, changes to design can be expensive and you need to order large quantities well in advance. Mind you these are general statements. Your product will determine the true costs. Treat your supply chain as carefully as you do your sales channels.
 

Walter Hay

Legendary Contributor
Speedway Pass
FASTLANE INSIDER
LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR
Sep 13, 2014
2,093
8,545
1,953
80
World citizen
www.provenchinasourcing.com
Several have commented on your sales channel questions, so I'll leave that alone. Your supply channel is also an important consideration that requires some homework. Offshore production works for products that can be manufactured to precise drawings, models, etc and in large enough quantities that the shipping charges can be spread. But you lose some control, changes to design can be expensive and you need to order large quantities well in advance. Mind you these are general statements. Your product will determine the true costs. Treat your supply chain as carefully as you do your sales channels.
This is a very important reminder. Supply chain security should be something that you consider early in a project.

Without that, your business can die overnight. This is one reason why I recommend always having a backup supplier, even if it is a higher cost supplier than the one you favor.

Walter
 

Online statistics

Members online
53
Guests online
265
Total visitors
318

Search Forum

Top